Healthy Athletes Program as a chance for a good quality of life of persons with intellectual disability and their families in the context of health and pro-health activities

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Background: One of the consequences of improperly extending the process of socialization is incorrect health education and thus, different structure of the behaviors associated with taking care of their own health. More difficult socio-economic situation of families with children with intellectual disabilities may not adequately protect the needs of family members (especially children’s) associated with health. Up to 1/3 of the cases of people with intellectual disabilities of poorer health state can result from lower socio-economic position (Emerson and Hatton, 2007). Educational failure, typical for families of children and young people with intellectual disabilities (especially mild) can result in the children not acquiring appropriate behaviors, important for health. If these behaviors are missing, consequently, can be expected to accelerate the deterioration of health.

The health status of people with intellectual disabilities is worse than the state of health in the general population (Allerton, Welch, Emerson, 2011; Tample et al., 2006). The most serious consequence of the poorer health of people with intellectual disabilities is a higher mortality rate (Krahn et al, 2006). The average life expectancy of people with intellectual disabilities is 66 (excluding people with Down syndrome whose life expectancy is even shorter), and so more than 10 years shorter than of people. In so-called intellectual norm!

Bearing in mind that access to the highest standard of health care for all people with disabilities is a law that was adopted on 13 December 2006 under the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, Special Olympics Poland have taken the initiative leading to beneficial changes in quality of life for the players and their families in the context of health and modeling appropriate health behavior through the implementation of the Health Programme, which includes the two related projects: Healthy Athletes and Healthy Special Olympics Community.

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